JOHN 1:1 The θεὸς Dilemma of “a god” or “God”?

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OF JEHOThe Reading Culture of Early Christianity From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts 400,000 Textual Variants 02

Before beginning, assume nothing about the agenda of the article itself, or the way the verse should be rendered. The objective of this article is to sound objective and neutral and give both sides, so the reader can make an informed decision.

John 1:1 is the first verse in the opening chapter of the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. In the American Standard Version 1901, English Standard Version 1952, English Standard Version 2001, Christian standard Bible 2013, Updated American Standard Version 2021 and other versions of the Bible, the verse reads:

In the beginning[1] was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1 opens the larger section sometimes described as the “Prologue to John” (John 1:1–18) which deals with Jesus,[2] the “Word made flesh” who “dwelt among us” (John 1:14). The verse has been a source of much debate among Bible scholars and translators.

“Word,” a translation of the Greek λόγος (logos),[3] is widely interpreted as referring to Jesus, as indicated in other verses later in the same chapter.[4] This verse and others throughout Johannine literature[5] connect the Christian understanding of Jesus to the philosophical idea of the Logos and the Hebrew Wisdom literature.[6] They also set the stage for the later development of Trinitarian theology early in the post-biblical era.

The first page of John’s Gospel from the Coronation Gospels, c. 10th century.

 

The P52 PROJECT THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS 4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS

History

John 1:1 from the Ostromir Gospel, with John’s Evangelist portrait, 1056 or 1057.

Tertullian[7] in the early third century wrote:

Now if this one [the Word] is God according to John (“the Word was God”), then you have two: one who speaks that it may be, and another who carries it out. However, how you should accept this as “another” I have explained: as concerning person, not substance, and as distinction, not division. [8]

And a little later:

And that you may think more fully on this, accept also that in the Psalm two gods are mentioned: “Thy throne, God, is forever, a rod of right direction is the rod of thy kingdom; thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee.” If he is speaking to a god, and the god is anointed by a god, then also here he affirms two gods… More is what you will find just the same in the Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”: One who was, and another in whose presence he was. [9]

John 1:1 from the Ostromir Gospel, with John’s Evangelist portrait, 1056 or 1057.

Origen[10] of Alexandria, a teacher in Greek grammar of the third century, wrote about the use of the definite article:

We next notice John’s use of the article in these sentences. He does not write without care in this respect, nor is he unfamiliar with the niceties of the Greek tongue. In some cases he uses the article, and in some he omits it. He adds the article to the Logos, but to the name of God he adds it sometimes only. He uses the article, when the name of God refers to the uncreated cause of all things, and omits it when the Logos is named God […] Now there are many who are sincerely concerned about religion, and who fall here into great perplexity. They are afraid that they may be proclaiming two Gods, and their fear drives them into doctrines which are false and wicked. Either they deny that the Son has a distinct nature of His own besides that of the Father, and make Him whom they call the Son to be God all but the name, or they deny the divinity of the Son, giving Him a separate existence of His own, and making His sphere of essence fall outside that of the Father, so that they are separable from each other. […] The true God, then, is “The God.[11]

APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS

Source Text and Translations

Koine Greek[12]

ν ρχν λόγος, καλόγος ν πρς τν θεόν, καθες ν λόγος.[13]

Greek transliteration[14]

En arkhêi ên ho lógos, kaì ho lógos ên pròs tòn theón, kaì theòs ên ho lógos.

Greek Interlinear[15]

᾿ΕνIn ἀρχῇbeginning ἦνwas the λόγος,Word, καὶand the λόγοςWord ἦνwas πρὸςtoward τὸνthe θεόν,God, καὶand θεὸςGod ἦνwas the λόγος.Word. [16]

Syriac[17] Peshitta[18]

ܒ݁ܪܺܫܺܝܬ݂ ܐܺܝܬ݂ܰܘܗ݈ܝ ܗ݈ܘܳܐ ܡܶܠܬ݂ܳܐ ܘܗܽܘ ܡܶܠܬ݂ܳܐ ܐܺܝܬ݂ܰܘܗ݈ܝ ܗ݈ܘܳܐ ܠܘܳܬ݂ ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ ܘܰܐܠܳܗܳܐ ܐܺܝܬ݂ܰܘܗ݈ܝ ܗ݈ܘܳܐ ܗܽܘ ܡܶܠܬ݂ܳܐ ܀

Syriac transliteration

brīšīṯ ʾiṯauhi hwā milṯā, whu milṯā ʾiṯauhi hwā luaṯ ʾalāhā; wʾalāhā iṯauhi hwā hu milṯā

Sahidic[19] Coptic[20]

ϨΝ ΤЄϨΟΥЄΙΤЄ ΝЄϤϢΟΟΠ ΝϬΙΠϢΑϪЄ, ΑΥШ ΠϢΑϪЄ ΝЄϤϢΟΟΠ ΝΝΑϨΡΜ ΠΝΟΥΤЄ. ΑΥШ ΝЄΥΝΟΥΤЄ ΠЄ ΠϢΑϪЄ

Sahidic Coptic transliteration

Hn teHoueite neFSoop nCi pSaJe auw pSaJe neFSoop nnaHrm pnoute auw neunoute pe pSaJe.[11]

Sahidic Coptic to English

In the beginning existed the Word, and the Word existed with the God, and a God was the Word.[21]

Latin Vulgate[22]

In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum.

Scroll Past These Images for More Information (Click to Enlarge)

Papyrus 75 (175–225), the end of Gospel of Luke and the beginning of Gospel of John (chapter 1:1–16*)

 

Codex Vaticanus (300–325), The end of Gospel of Luke and the beginning of Gospel of John

 

Codex Bezae (c. 400), John 1:1–16

 

Fragment from Woide’s facsimile edition (1786), Codex_Alexandrinus_J_1,1-7 Fragment from Woide’s facsimile edition (1786), containing the text of John 1.1-7

 

John 1:1 in the page showing the first chapter of John in the King James Bible.

John 1:1 in English Versions

John 1:1 in the page showing the first chapter of John in the King James Bible.

The traditional rendering in English is:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Translations by James Moffatt,[23] Edgar J. Goodspeed[24] and Hugh J. Schonfield[25] render part of the verse as “…the Word [Logos] was divine”. Murray J. Harris[26] writes,

[It] is clear that in the translation “the Word was God”, the term God is being used to denote his nature or essence, and not his person. But in normal English usage “God” is a proper noun, referring to the person of the Father[27] or corporately to the three persons of the Godhead.[28] Moreover, “the Word was God” suggests that “the Word” and “God” are convertible terms, that the proposition is reciprocating. But the Word is neither the Father nor the Trinity[29] … The rendering cannot stand without explanation.”[30]

An Eastern/Greek Orthodox Bible commentary notes:

This second theos could also be translated ‘divine’ as the construction indicates “a qualitative sense for theos”. The Word is not God in the sense that he is the same person as the theos mentioned in 1:1a; he is not God the Father (God absolutely as in common NT usage) or the Trinity. The point being made is that the Logos[31] is of the same uncreated nature or essence as God the Father, with whom he eternally exists. This verse is echoed in the Nicene Creed:[32] “God (qualitative or derivative) from God (personal, the Father), Light from Light, True God from True God… homoousion[33] with the Father.”[34]

Other variations of rendering, both in translation or paraphrase, John 1:1c also exist:

  • 14th century: “and God was the word” – Wycliffe’s Bible[35] (translated from the 4th-century Latin Vulgate)[36]
  • 1808: “and the Word was a god” – Thomas Belsham[37] The New Testament, in an Improved Version, Upon the Basis of Archbishop Newcome’s[38] New Translation: With a Corrected Text, London.
  • 1822: “and the Word was a god” – The New Testament in Greek and English (A. Kneeland, 1822.)
  • 1829: “and the Word was a god” – The Monotessaron; or, The Gospel History According to the Four Evangelists (J. S. Thompson, 1829)
  • 1863: “and the Word was a god” – A Literal Translation of the New Testament (Herman Heinfetter [Pseudonym of Frederick Parker], 1863)
  • 1864: “the LOGOS was God” – A New Emphatic Version (right hand column)
  • 1864: “and a god was the Word” – The Emphatic Diaglott[39] by Benjamin Wilson,[40] New York and London (left hand column interlinear reading)
  • 1867: “and the Son was of God” – The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible[41]
  • 1879: “and the Word was a god” – Das Evangelium nach Johannes (J. Becker, 1979)
  • 1885: “and the Word was a god” – Concise Commentary on The Holy Bible (R. Young,[42] 1885)
  • 1911: “and [a] God was the word” – The Coptic Version of the New Testament in the Southern Dialect, by George William Horner.[43]
  • 1924: “the Logos was divine” – The Bible: James Moffatt Translation, by James Moffatt.[44]
  • 1935: “and the Word was divine” – The Bible: An American Translation, by John M. P. Smith[45] and Edgar J. Goodspeed,[46] Chicago.[47]
  • 1955: “so the Word was divine” – The Authentic New Testament, by Hugh J. Schonfield,[48] Aberdeen.[49]
  • 1956: “And the Word was as to His essence absolute deity” – The Wuest Expanded Translation.[50]
  • 1958: “and the Word was a god” – The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Anointed (J. L. Tomanec, 1958);
  • 1962, 1979: “‘the word was God.’ Or, more literally, ‘God was the word.'” – The Four Gospels and the Revelation (R. Lattimore, 1979)
  • 1966, 2001: “and he was the same as God” – The Good News Bible.[51]
  • 1970, 1989: “and what God was, the Word was” – The New English Bible[52] and The Revised English Bible.[53]
  • 1975 “and a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word” – Das Evangelium nach Johnnes, by Siegfried Schulz, Göttingen, Germany
  • 1975: “and the Word was a god” – Das Evangelium nach Johannes (S. Schulz, 1975);
  • 1978: “and godlike sort was the Logos” – Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Johannes Schneider, Berlin
  • 1985: “So the Word was divine” – The Original New Testament, by Hugh J. Schonfield.[54]
  • 1993: “The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one.” — The Message,[55] by Eugene H. Peterson.[56]
  • 1998: “and what God was the Word also was” – This translation follows Professor Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of John, ed. Daniel J. Harrington.[57]
  • 2017: “and the Logos was god” – The New Testament: A Translation, by David Bentley Hart.[58]
9781949586121 BIBLE DIFFICULTIES THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS

Difficulties

The text of John 1:1 has a sordid past and a myriad of interpretations. With the Greek alone, we can create empathic, orthodox, creed-like statements, or we can commit pure and unadulterated heresy. From the point of view of early church history, heresy develops when a misunderstanding arises concerning Greek articles, the predicate nominative, and grammatical word order. The early church heresy of Sabellianism[59] understood John 1:1c to read, “and the Word was the God.” The early church heresy of Arianism understood it to read, “and the word was a God.”

 David A. Reed[60]

There are two issues affecting the translating of the verse, 1) theology and 2) proper application of grammatical rules. The commonly held theology that Jesus is God naturally leads one to believe that the proper way to render the verse is the one which is most popular.[61] The opposing theology that Jesus is subordinate to God as his Chief agent leads to the conclusion that “… a god” or “… divine” is the proper rendering.[62] Some scholars oppose the translation …a god,[63] while other scholars believe it is possible or even preferable.[64]

4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS The Complete Guide to Bible Translation-2

Grammar

The Greek article is often translated the, which is the English definite article, but it can have a range of meanings that can be quite different from those found in English and require context to interpret.[65] Ancient Greek does not have an indefinite article like the English word a, and nominatives without articles also have a range of meanings that require context to interpret. In interpreting this verse, Colwell’s rule should be taken into consideration, which says that a definite predicate which is before the verb “to be” usually does not have the definite article. Ernest Cadman Colwell[66] writes:

The opening verse of John’s Gospel contains one of the many passages where this rule suggests the translation of a predicate as a definite noun. Καθες ν λόγος [Kaì theòs ên ho lógos] looks much more like “And the Word was God” than “And the Word was divine” when viewed with reference to this rule. The absence of the article does not make the predicate indefinite or qualitative when it precedes the verb, it is indefinite in this position only when the context demands it. The context makes no such demand in the Gospel of John, for this statement cannot be regarded as strange in the prologue of the gospel which reaches its climax in the confession of Thomas [Footnote: John 20,28].”[67]

Daniel B. Wallace[68] (Professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary)[69] argues that the use of the anarthrous theos (the lack of the definite article before the second theos) is due to its use as a qualitative noun, describing the nature or essence of the Word, sharing the essence of the Father, though they differed in person: he stresses: “The construction the evangelist chose to express this idea was the most precise way he could have stated that the Word was God and yet was distinct from the Father.”[70] He questions whether Colwell’s rule helps in interpreting John 1:1. It has been said that Colwell’s rule has been misapplied as its converse, as though it implied definiteness.[71]

Murray J. Harris[72] (Emeritus Professor of NT Exegesis and Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)[73] discusses “grammatical, theological, historical, literary and other issues that affect the interpretation of θεὸς” and conclude that, among other uses, “is a christological title that is primarily ontological in nature” and adds that “the application of θεὸς to Jesus Christ asserts that Jesus is … God-by-nature.[74]

John L. McKenzie[75] (Catholic Biblical scholar) wrote that ho Theos is God the Father and adds that John 1:1 should be translated “the word was with the God [=the Father], and the word was a divine being.”[76]

James D. G. Dunn[77] (Emeritus Lightfoot Professor at University of Durham)[78] states:

Philo[79] demonstrates that a distinction between ho theos and theos such as we find in John 1.1b-c, would be deliberate by the author and significant for the Greek reader. Not only so, Philo shows that he could happily call the Logos ‘God/god’ without infringing his monotheism (or even ‘the second God’ – Qu.Gen. II.62). Bearing in mind our findings with regard to the Logos in Philo, this cannot but be significant: the Logos for Philo is ‘God’ not as a being independent of ‘the God’ but as ‘the God’ in his knowability – the Logos standing for that limited apprehension of the one God which is all that the rational man, even the mystic may attain to.”[80]

B. F. Westcott[81]is quoted by C. F. D. Moule[82](Lady Margaret’s Professor of Divinity[83] in the University of Cambridge):[84]

The predicate (God) stands emphatically first, as in 4:24. ‘It is necessarily without the article (theós not ho theós) inasmuch as it describes the nature of the Word and does not identify His Person. It would be pure Sabellianism[85] to say, “the Word was ho theós”. No idea of inferiority of nature is suggested by the form of expression, which simply affirms the true deity of the Word. Compare the converse statement of the true humanity of Christ five 27 (hóti huiòs anthrópou estín . . . ).’[86]

Philip B. Harner (Professor Emeritus of Religion at Heidelberg College)[87] says:

Perhaps the clause could be translated, ‘the Word had the same nature as God.” This would be one way of representing John’s thought, which is, as I understand it, that ho logos, no less than ho theos, had the nature of theos.[88]

Jason David BeDuhn[89] (Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Humanities, Arts, and Religion, at Northern Arizona University)[90] wrote that: “The form used in John 1:1b and 1:2 is the “accusative” thon theon, which is the form used when a noun is the object of a preposition such a pros (“with”or “near”).”[91]

The rendering as “a god” is justified by some non-Trinitarians by comparing it with Acts 28:6 which has a similar grammatical construction’[92] “The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.”[Ac. 28:6 NIV]. However, it was noted that the Hebrew words El, HaElohim and Jehovah (all referring to God) were rendered as anarthrous theos in the Septuagint at Nahum 1:2, Isaiah 37:16, 41:4, Jeremiah 23:23 and Ezekiel 45:9 among many other locations. Moreover, in the New Testament anarthrous theos was used to refer to God in locations including John 1:18a, Romans 8:33, 2 Corinthians 5:19, 6:16 and Hebrews 11:16 (although the last two references do have an adjective aspect to them). Therefore, anarthrous or arthrous constructions by themselves, without context, cannot determine how to render it into a target language. In Deuteronomy 31:27 the Septuagint text, “supported by all MSS… reads πρὸς τὸν θεόν for the Hebrew עִם־ יְהֹוָ֔ה”,[93] but the oldest Greek text in Papyrus Fouad 266[94] has written πρὸς יהוה τὸν θεόν.[95]

In the October 2011 Journal of Theological Studies, Brian J. Wright and Tim Ricchuiti[96] reason that the indefinite article in the Coptic translation, of John 1:1, has a qualitative meaning. Many such occurrences for qualitative nouns are identified in the Coptic New Testament, including 1 John 1:5 and 1 John 4:8. Moreover, the indefinite article is used to refer to God in Deuteronomy 4:31 and Malachi 2:10.

English Bible Versions King James Bible KING JAMES BIBLE II

DR. DON WILKINS EXCURSION (SENIOR TRANSLATOR NASB)

John 1:1 is all about capitalization and the tiny word “a,” which in grammar is called the indefinite article. I will do a word-for-word translation, but in this case, I’ll keep the Greek for “God,” which is theos:

In [the] beginning was the word, and the word was with the theos, and the word was theos.

To clarify a couple of points, as we saw earlier in chapter 4 (DO WE STILL NEED A LITERAL BIBLE), “the” is added before “beginning” to smooth out the English, and there is actually emphasis based on word order that I am not following here. Also, for strict objectivity, I haven’t capitalized “word,” though of course, it refers to the Son.

The question for us here is how to handle the two occurrences of theos. It is no problem for orthodox translators, who use capital “God” in both places. The presence of “the” with the first theos is interesting, however, and could be awkward if we did not know that this construction was used routinely in the Greek as a reference to the monotheistic God of the Jews. We find it, for example, in Gen. 1:1 and 3 of the LXX (the Greek OT), where no article is present with “God” in the Hebrew.

Since the doctrine of the Trinity is part of orthodoxy, orthodox translators view the first theos construction as a reference to the Father, i.e. taking the article as a marker of identity, and thus John is stating that the Son and the Father were together at this point. The second theos, lacking the article, is seen not as a matter of identity but of quality or nature, and is easily translated “was God.” It helps that the word order, as we saw earlier, emphasizes the point, as we might expect.

To the translators of the New World Translation, however, the wording favoring the orthodox position is unacceptable. Their readers, Jehovah’s Witnesses, believe that the Son is not equal in deity to the Father. In the NWT John 1:1 reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”

The NWT agrees with most other translations in capitalizing “Word,” but while deity may be implied by others, it is just a personal name here. Most important, of course, is the closing construction: “was a god.” This is a “good bias” for the intended audience, but a very bad one from the viewpoint of orthodoxy. Can it be defended from the viewpoint of the Greek?

We have already seen from my WFW translation (and you can trust me) that the word “a” is not in the Greek. One question is whether “a” should be added. The Witnesses have long maintained that it is standard translation practice to add “a” (the indefinite article) when the definite article (“the”) is absent in Greek, on the ground that Greek does not have an indefinite article. They have also defended “a god” from the fact that the article is present in the Sahidic Coptic translation of John 1:1. So they consider “was God” an unjustified translation based on bias.

APOSTOLIC FATHERS I AM John 8.58

In my view, the debate over adding “a” misses the point. Notice that in the NWT, the addition of “a” is accompanied by the change of “God” to lowercase, indicating a lesser “god.” Ancient Greek did not have the distinction of upper- and lowercase letters, and the assumption that the meaning of “God” is automatically lessened by the addition of “a” is a misapprehension from English usage. What needs to be considered is whether John could have used theos twice in close proximity while giving it two qualitatively different meanings. I consider this very unlikely without any clear indication to that effect, and I can find none here.

It is even more unlikely, I think, in view of John’s emphasis on the second theos. He felt it was remarkable, or important to point out, that the Word was also theos. It seems either that he wanted to emphasize equality (but not identity) with “the theos,” or to emphasize that they were not equal, i.e. that the Word was something else. For the latter we need some indication of a difference in quality, yet if this was John’s intent, he confuses his readers by using the same word without any modifiers.[1]  Even if we were to grant that the second theos could mean “a god,” we would then expect a disjunctive connecting the clause (e.g. “but the Word was a god”), not “and the Word was a god.”[2] The Greek can only mean “and.”

[1] An NWT advocate would, of course, say that we have only to insert “a.” But in the first place, as I noted, one cannot change the meaning of a Greek word this way. In the second place, John actually could have added a word (tis) in Greek that served as the equivalent of the indefinite article, or he could have used a different word or construction for “god” that could have been understood as a lesser god.

[2] It would have been anticlimactic at best to underscore the Son positively as a lesser god since only a god could have existed with “the theos” before creation.

If I were trying to find a compromise, I would start with the construction, “a God.” This would eliminate the debate over “a,” while maintaining lexical consistency for the two occurrences of “theos.” It would also comply with the definition of a good compromise as one from which neither side walks away happy. Obviously, Witnesses would not like the capital ‘G’ in both words. To Trinitarians, it might suggest that there are three separate Gods, not one in three Persons. And everyone probably would consider it a bit awkward.[3]

[3] The term “a God” actually occurs once in the NASB, in 1 Cor. 14:33. Unfortunately, it is irrelevant for our discussion because it is italic (added to the text) and a different concept.

I have no hopes of settling the arguments over John 1:1; I can only say that I do not believe the NWT version can be adequately defended, for the reasons stated. My full support goes to the orthodox rendering found in the NASB and other corresponding translations.

John 1:1c Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.[1]

John 1:1 English Standard Version (ESV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

END OF DR. DON WILKINS EXCURSION

INVESTIGATING JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation INVESTIGATING JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES EXCURSION

Sahidic Coptic Translation of John 1:1

New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)

Sahidic Coptic Translation of John 1:1

The manuscript shown here (dating from about 600 C.E.) contains a translation of the Gospel of John into the Sahidic dialect of the Coptic language. Coptic was spoken in Egypt in the centuries immediately following Jesus’ earthly ministry. Along with Syriac and Latin, Coptic was one of the first languages into which the Christian Greek Scriptures were translated. Translations into Coptic were available by the third century C.E., so they can give us insight into how the Greek text was understood at that time. This may be of special interest when it comes to the much debated second part of Joh 1:1, which in many translations reads: “And the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Unlike Koine Greek, Syriac, and Latin, the Sahidic Coptic dialect does have an indefinite article (in some ways corresponding to “a” and “an” in English). As shown here, the two occurrences of the Coptic word for “God” (highlighted) look slightly different—the first one (1) with the definite article (circled in red) and the second one (2) with the indefinite article (circled in red). Thus, when rendered literally into English, the translation would read: “And the Word was with the God, and the Word was god.”—See study note on Joh 1:1 for more information regarding the rendering “and the Word was a god.”

1. “the” (circled in red) God

2. “a” (circled in red) god

Credit Line: © The Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin/CBL Cpt 813, ff. 147v-148r/www.cbl.ie

Was the Word “God” or “a god”?

THAT question has to be considered when Bible translators handle the first verse of the Gospel of John. In the New World Translation, the verse is rendered: “In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (John 1:1) Some other translations render the last part of the verse to convey the thought that the Word was “divine,” or something similar. (A New Translation of the Bible, by James Moffatt; The New English Bible) Many translations, however, render the last part of John 1:1: “And the Word was God.”—The Holy Bible—New International Version; The Jerusalem Bible.

Greek grammar and the context strongly indicate that the New World Translation rendering is correct and that “the Word” should not be identified as the “God” referred to earlier in the verse. Nevertheless, the fact that the Greek language of the first century did not have an indefinite article (“a” or “an”) leaves the matter open to question in some minds. It is for this reason that a Bible translation in a language that was spoken in the earliest centuries of our Common Era is very interesting.

The language is the Sahidic dialect of Coptic. The Coptic language was spoken in Egypt in the centuries immediately following Jesus’ earthly ministry, and the Sahidic dialect was an early literary form of the language. Regarding the earliest Coptic translations of the Bible, The Anchor Bible Dictionary says: “Since the [Septuagint] and the [Christian Greek Scriptures] were being translated into Coptic during the 3d century C.E., the Coptic version is based on [Greek manuscripts] which are significantly older than the vast majority of extant witnesses.”

The Sahidic Coptic text is especially interesting for two reasons. First, as indicated above, it reflects an understanding of Scripture dating from before the fourth century, which was when the Trinity became official doctrine. Second, Coptic grammar is relatively close to English grammar in one important aspect. The earliest translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures were into Syriac, Latin, and Coptic. Syriac and Latin, like the Greek of those days, do not have an indefinite article. Coptic, however, does. Moreover, scholar Thomas O. Lambdin, in his work Introduction to Sahidic Coptic, says: “The use of the Coptic articles, both definite and indefinite, corresponds closely to the use of the articles in English.”

Hence, the Coptic translation supplies interesting evidence as to how John 1:1 would have been understood back then. What do we find? The Sahidic Coptic translation uses an indefinite article with the word “god” in the final part of John 1:1. Thus, when rendered into modern English, the translation reads: “And the Word was a god.” Evidently, those ancient translators realized that John’s words recorded at John 1:1 did not mean that Jesus was to be identified as Almighty God. The Word was a god, not Almighty God.

[Diagram/Pictures Above]

JOHN 1:1. SAHIDIC COPTIC TEXT; P. CHESTER BEATTY-813; WITH INTERLINEAR TRANSLATION

In        the beginning        existed        the Word

         and        the Word        existed        with

           the God        and          a god        was

  the Word

BIBLE DIFFICULTIES

During the third century C.E., various translators, working independently of one another, rendered portions of the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Greek Scriptures into Coptic. That was a language of ancient Egypt, using an alphabet mainly derived from Greek. Ancient manuscripts of the Bible are found in several Coptic dialects, including Sahidic and Bohairic.

The Coptic versions of the Bible were translated from Greek. It seems that most Bible books were available in Coptic by the beginning of the fourth century C.E.

The oldest complete Coptic codices of the Gospels available today date from the 11th or the 12th century C.E., but copies of single Bible books, or portions of them, date back to as early as the fourth and fifth centuries C.E. The value of the Coptic translations, particularly the early ones, is that they were based on Greek texts that predate many existing Greek manuscripts. The Coptic translations may shed light on the ancient texts from which they were translated. For example, some Coptic translations render Joh 1:1 in a way that indicates that Jesus, who is referred to as “a god,” is not the same person as Almighty God.

A Text That Teaches the Trinity?

One example of a Bible verse that is often misused is John 1:1. In the King James Version, that verse reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God [Greek, ton the·onʹ], and the Word was God [the·osʹ].” This verse contains two forms of the Greek noun the·osʹ (god). The first is preceded by ton (the), a form of the Greek definite article, and in this case the word the·onʹ refers to Almighty God. In the second instance, however, the·osʹ has no definite article. Was the article mistakenly left out?

The Gospel of John was written in Koine, or common Greek, which has specific rules regarding the use of the definite article. Bible scholar A. T. Robertson recognizes that if both subject and predicate have articles, “both are definite, treated as identical, one and the same, and interchangeable.” Robertson considers as an example Matthew 13:38, which reads: “The field [Greek, ho a·grosʹ] is the world [Greek, ho koʹsmos].” The grammar enables us to understand that the world is also the field.

What, though, if the subject has a definite article but the predicate does not, as in John 1:1? Citing that verse as an example, scholar James Allen Hewett emphasizes: “In such a construction the subject and predicate are not the same, equal, identical, or anything of the sort.”

To illustrate, Hewett uses 1 John 1:5, which says: “God is light.” In Greek, “God” is ho the·osʹ and therefore has a definite article. But phos for “light” is not preceded by any article. Hewett points out: “One can always . . . say of God He is characterized by light; one cannot always say of light that it is God.” Similar examples are found at John 4:24, “God is a Spirit,” and at 1 John 4:16, “God is love.” In both of these verses, the subjects have definite articles but the predicates, “Spirit” and “love,” do not. So the subjects and predicates are not interchangeable. These verses cannot mean that “Spirit is God” or “love is God.”

APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS

Identity of “the Word”?

Many Greek scholars and Bible translators acknowledge that John 1:1 highlights, not the identity, but a quality of “the Word.” Says Bible translator William Barclay: “Because [the apostle John] has no definite article in front of theos it becomes a description . . . John is not here identifying the Word with God. To put it very simply, he does not say that Jesus was God.” Scholar Jason David BeDuhn likewise says: “In Greek, if you leave off the article from theos in a sentence like the one in John 1:1c, then your readers will assume you mean ‘a god.’ . . . Its absence makes theos quite different than the definite ho theos, as different as ‘a god’ is from ‘God’ in English.” BeDuhn adds: “In John 1:1, the Word is not the one-and-only God, but is a god, or divine being.” Or to put it in the words of Joseph Henry Thayer, a scholar who worked on the American Standard Version: “The Logos [or, Word] was divine, not the divine Being himself.”

END OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES EXCURSION

Mosaic Authorship HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS

Biblical Parallels

“In the beginning (archē) was the Word (logos)” may be compared with:

  • Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created heaven, and earth.” The opening words of the Old Testament are also “In the beginning”. Theologian Charles Ellicott[97] wrote:

“The reference to the opening words of the Old Testament is obvious, and is the more striking when we remember that a Jew would constantly speak of and quote from the book of Genesis as “Berēshîth” (“in the beginning”). It is quite in harmony with the Hebrew tone of this Gospel to do so, and it can hardly be that St. John wrote his Berēshîth without having that of Moses present to his mind, and without being guided by its meaning.[98]

  • Mark 1:1: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
  • Luke 1:2: “According as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning (archē) were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word (logos).[99]
  • 1 John 1:1: “That which was from the beginning (archē), which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word (logos) of life.”[100]

“…was God (Theós)” may be compared with Acts 28:6:

  • “But they supposed that he would begin to swell up, and that he would suddenly fall down and die. But expecting long, and seeing that there came no harm to him, changing their minds, they said, that he was a god (theón).”
  • “Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god (theón).” (KJV)
  • “But they were expecting that he was going to swell up or suddenly drop dead. So after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god (theón).” (NET)
  • “Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god (theón).” (DNKJB)[101]
THE CREATION DAYS OF GENESIS gift of prophecy

From the Biblos Interlinear Bible:[102]

hoi

de

prosedokōn

auton

mellein

pimprasthai

ē

katapiptein

aphnō

nekron

οἱ

δὲ

προσεδόκων

αὐτὸν

μέλλειν

πίμπρασθαι

καταπίπτειν

ἄφνω

νεκρόν

but

they were expecting

him

to be going

to become inflamed

or

to fall down

suddenly

dead

 

epi

poly

de

autōn

prosdokōntōn

kai

theōrountōn

mēden

atopon

eis

auton

ginomenon

ἐπὶ

πολὺ

δὲ

αὐτῶν

προσδοκώντων

καὶ

θεωρούντων

μηδὲν

ἄτοπον

εἰς

αὐτὸν

γινόμενον

after a while

great

however

they

expecting

and

seeing

nothing

amiss

to

him

happening

 

metabalomenoi

elegon

auton

einai

theon

μεταβαλόμενοι

ἔλεγον

αὐτὸν

εἶναι

θεόν

having changed their opinion

said

he

was

a god

From Scrivener’s Textus Receptus 1894:[64]

οι

δε

προςεδοκων

αyτον

μελλειν

πιμπραςθαι

η

καταπιπτειν

αφνω

νεκρον

hoi

de

prosedokOn

auton

mellein

pimprasthai

E

katapiptein

aphnO

nekron

THE

YET

THEY-TOWARD-SEEMED

him

TO-BE-beING-ABOUT

TO-BE-beING-INFLAMED

OR

TO-BE-DOWN-FALLING

suddenly

DEAD

 

επι

πολυ

δε

αyτων

προςδοκωντων

και

θεωρουντων

μηδεν

ατοπον

εις

αυτον

γινομενον

epi

polu

de

autOn

prosdokOntOn

kai

theOrountOn

mEden

atopon

eis

auton

ginomenon

ON

much

YET

OF-them

TOWARD-SEEMING

AND

OF-beholdING

NO-YET-ONE

UN-PLACED

INTO

him

BECOMING

 

μεταβαλλομενοι

ελεγον

θεον

αyτων

ειναι

metaballomenoi

elegon

theon

auton

einai

after-CASTING

THEY-said

god

him

TO-BE

THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1 Paul PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL

Commentary from the Church Fathers

Chrysostom:[103] “While all the other Evangelists begin with the Incarnation, John, passing over the Conception, Nativity, education, and growth, speaks immediately of the Eternal Generation, saying, In the beginning was the Word.”[104]

Augustine:[105] “The Greek word “logos” signifies both Word and Reason. But in this passage it is better to interpret it Word; as referring not only to the Father, but to the creation of things by the operative power of the Word; whereas Reason, though it produce nothing, is still rightly called Reason.”

Augustine: “Words by their daily use, sound, and passage out of us, have become common things. But there is a word which remaineth inward, in the very man himself; distinct from the sound which proceedeth out of the mouth. There is a word, which is truly and spiritually that, which you understand by the sound, not being the actual sound. . Now whoever can conceive the notion of word, as existing not only before its sound, but even before the idea of its sound is formed, may see enigmatically, and as it were in a glass, some similitude of that Word of Which it is said, In the beginning was the Word. For when we give expression to something which we know, the word used is necessarily derived from the knowledge thus retained in the memory and must be of the same quality with that knowledge. For a word is a thought formed from a thing which we know; which word is spoken in the heart, being neither Greek nor Latin, nor of any language, though, when we want to communicate it to others, some sign is assumed by which to express it.… . Wherefore the word which sounds externally, is a sign of the word which lies hid within, to which the name of word more truly appertains. For that which is uttered by the mouth of our flesh, is the voice of the word; and is in fact called word, with reference to that from which it is taken, when it is developed externally.”

Basil of Caesarea:[106] “This Word is not a human word. For how was there a human word in the beginning, when man received his being last of all? There was not then any word of man in the beginning, nor yet of Angels; for every creature is within the limits of time, having its beginning of existence from the Creator. But what says the Gospel? It calls the Only-Begotten Himself the Word.”

Chrysostom: “But why omitting the Father, does he proceed at once to speak of the Son? Because the Father was known to all; though not as the Father, yet as God; whereas the Only-Begotten was not known. As was meet then, he endeavours first of all to inculcate the knowledge of the Son on those who knew Him not; though neither in discoursing on Him, is he altogether silent on the Father. And inasmuch as he was about to teach that the Word was the Only-Begotten Son of God, that no one might think this a passible (παθητὴν) generation, he makes mention of the Word in the first place, in order to destroy the dangerous suspicion, and show that the Son was from God impassibly. And a second reason is, that He was to declare unto us the things of the Father. (John. 15:15) But he does not speak of the Word simply, but with the addition of the article, in order to distinguish It from other words. For Scripture calls God’s laws and commandments words; but this Word is a certain Substance, or Person, an Essence, coming forth impassibly from the Father Himself.”

Basil of Caesarea: “Wherefore then Word? Because born impassibly, the Image of Him that begat, manifesting all the Father in Himself; abstracting from Him nothing, but existing perfect in Himself.”

Augustine: “Now the Word of God is a Form, not a formation, but the Form of all forms, a Form unchangeable, removed from accident, from failure, from time, from space, surpassing all things, and existing in all things as a kind of foundation underneath, and summit above them.”

Basil of Caesarea: “Yet has our outward word some similarity to the Divine Word. For our word declares the whole conception of the mind; since what we conceive in the mind we bring out in word. Indeed our heart is as it were the source, and the uttered word the stream which flows therefrom.”

Chrysostom: “Observe the spiritual wisdom of the Evangelist. He knew that men honored most what was most ancient, and that honouring what is before everything else, they conceived of it as God. On this account he mentions first the beginning, saying, In the beginning was the Word.”

Augustine: “Or, In the beginning, as if it were said, before all things.”

Basil of Caesarea: “The Holy Ghost foresaw that men would arise, who should envy the glory of the Only-Begotten, subverting their hearers by sophistry; as if because He were begotten, He was not; and before He was begotten, He was not. That none might presume then to babble such things, the Holy Ghost saith, In the beginning was the Word.”

Hilary of Poitiers:[107] “Years, centuries, ages, are passed over, place what beginning thou wilt in thy imagining, thou graspest it not in time, for He, from Whom it is derived, still was.”

Chrysostom: “As then when our ship is near shore, cities and port pass in survey before us, which on the open sea vanish, and leave nothing whereon to fix the eye; so the Evangelist here, taking us with him in his flight above the created world, leaves the eye to gaze in vacancy on an illimitable expanse. For the words, was in the beginning, are significative of eternal and infinite essence.”

Council of Ephesus:[108] “Wherefore in one place divine Scripture calls Him the Son, in another the Word, in another the Brightness of the Father; names severally meant to guard against blasphemy. For, forasmuch as thy son is of the same nature with thyself, the Scripture wishing to show that the Substance of the Father and the Son is one, sets forth the Son of the Father, born of the Father, the Only-Begotten. Next, since the terms birth and son, convey the idea of passibleness, therefore it calls the Son the Word, declaring by that name the impassibility of His Nativity. But inasmuch as a father with us is necessarily older than his son, lest thou shouldest think that this applied to the Divine nature as well, it calls the Only-Begotten the Brightness of the Father; for brightness, though arising from the sun, is not posterior to it. Understand then that Brightness, as revealing the coeternity of the Son with the Father; Word as proving the impassibility of His birth, and Son as conveying His consubstantiality.”[65]

Chrysostom: “But they say that In the beginning does not absolutely express eternity: for that the same is said of the heaven and the earth: In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth. (Gen. 1:1) But are not made and was, altogether different? For in like manner as the word is, when spoken of man, signifies the present only, but when applied to God, that which always and eternally is; so too was, predicated of our nature, signifies the past, but predicated of God, eternity.”

Origen: “The verb to be, has a double signification, sometimes expressing the motions which take place in time, as other verbs do; sometimes the substance of that one thing of which it is predicated, without reference to time. Hence it is also called a substantive verb.”

Hilary of Poitiers: “Consider then the world, understand what is written of it. In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth. Whatever therefore is created is made in the beginning, and thou wouldest contain in time, what, as being to be made, is contained in the beginning. But, lo, for me, an illiterate unlearned fisherman is independent of time, unconfined by ages, advanceth beyond all beginnings. For the Word was, what it is, and is not bounded by any time, nor commenced therein, seeing It was not made in the beginning, but was.”

Alcuin:[109] ” To refute those who inferred from Christ’s Birth in time, that He had not been from everlasting, the Evangelist begins with the eternity of the Word, saying, In the beginning was the Word.”

Chrysostom: “Because it is an especial attribute of God, to be eternal and without a beginning, he laid this down first: then, lest any one on hearing in the beginning was the Word, should suppose the Word Unbegotten, he instantly guarded against this; saying, And the Word was with God.”

Hilary of Poitiers: “From the beginning, He is with God: and though independent of time, is not independent of an Author.”[65]

Basil of Caesarea: “Again he repeats this, was, because of men blasphemously saying, that there was a time when He was not. Where then was the Word? Illimitable things are not contained in space. Where was He then? With God. For neither is the Father bounded by place, nor the Son by aught circumscribing.”

Origen: “It is worth while noting, that, whereas the Word is said to come1 [be made] to some, as to Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, with God it is not made, as though it were not with Him before. But, the Word having been always with Him, it is said, and the Word was with God: for from the beginning it was not separate from the Father.”

Chrysostom: “He has not said, was in God, but was with God: exhibiting to us that eternity which He had in accordance with His Person.”

Theophylact of Ohrid:[110] “Sabellius is overthrown by this text. For he asserts that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one Person, Who sometimes appeared as the Father, sometimes as the Son, sometimes as the Holy Ghost. But he is manifestly confounded by this text, and the Word was with God; for here the Evangelist declares that the Son is one Person, God the Father another.”

Hilary of Poitiers: “But the title is absolute, and free from the offence of an extraneous subject. To Moses it is said, I have given1 thee for a god to Pharaoh: (Exod. 7:1) but is not the reason for the name added, when it is said, to Pharaoh? Moses is given for a god to Pharaoh, when he is feared, when he is entreated, when he punishes, when he heals. And it is one thing to be given for a God, another thing to be God. I remember too another application of the name in the Psalms, I have said, ye are gods. But there too it is implied that the title was but bestowed; and the introduction of, I said, makes it rather the phrase of the Speaker, than the name of the thing. But when I hear the Word was God, I not only hear the Word said to be, but perceive It proved to be, God.”

Basil of Caesarea: “Thus cutting off the cavils of blasphemers, and those who ask what the Word is, he replies, and the Word was God.”

Theophylact of Ohrid: ” Or combine it thus. From the Word being with God, it follows plainly that there are two Persons. But these two are of one Nature; and therefore it proceeds, In the Word was God: to show that Father and Son are of One Nature, being of One Godhead.”

Origen: “We must add too, that the Word illuminates the Prophets with Divine wisdom, in that He cometh to them; but that with God He ever is, because He is Goda. For which reason he placed and the Word was with God, before and the Word was God.”

Chrysostom: “Not asserting, as Plato does, one to be intelligence,1 the other soul;2 for the Divine Nature is very different from this…. But you say, the Father is called God with the addition of the article, the Son without it. What say you then, when the Apostle. writes, The great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; (Tit. 2:13) and again, Who is over all, God; (Rom. 9:5) and Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father; (Rom. 1:7) without the article? Besides, too, it were superfluous here, to affix what had been affixed just before. So that it does not follow, though the article is not affixed to the Son, that He is therefore an inferior God.

by Edward D. Andrews and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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[1] “In the beginning” (bereshith in Biblical Hebrew) is the opening-phrase or incipit used in the Bible in Genesis 1:1. In John 1:1 of the New Testament, the word Archē is translated into English with the same phrase.

[2] Jesus (Greek: Ἰησοῦς, romanized: Iēsoûs, likely from Hebrew/Aramaic: יֵשׁוּעַ‎, romanized: Yēšûaʿ), c. 1 BCE –33 CE, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader, as well as the Divine Son of God. He is the central figure of Christianity, the world’s largest religion.

[3] In Christology, the Logos (Greek: Λόγος, lit. ”Word”, “Discourse”, or “Reason”) is a name or title of Jesus Christ, derived from the prologue to the Gospel of John (c 100) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”, as well as in the Book of Revelation (c 85), “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” These passages have been important for establishing the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus since the earliest days of Christianity. According to Irenaeus of Lyon (c 130–202) a student of John’s disciple Polycarp (c pre-69-156), John the Apostle wrote these words specifically to refute the teachings of Cerinthus, who both resided and taught at Ephesus, the city John settled in following his return from exile on Patmos.

[4] See verses 14-17: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'”)… For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

[5] Johannine literature refers to the collection of New Testament works that are traditionally attributed to John the Apostle or to a Johannine Christian community: The Gospel of John, the three epistles 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and the prophetic, apocalyptic book of Revelation.

[6] Wisdom literature is a genre of literature common in the ancient Near East. It consists of statements by sages and the wise that offer teachings about divinity and virtue.

[7] Tertullian (c. 155 – c. AD 220) was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa.

[8] Qui si ipse deus est secundum Ioannem – Deus erat sermo – habes duos, alium dicentem ut fiat, alium facientem. alium autem quomodo accipere debeas iam professus sum, personae non substantiae nomine, ad distinctionem non ad divisionem. Adversus Praxeas 12.

[9] Et ut adhuc amplius hoc putes, accipe et in psalmo duos deos dictos: Thronus tuus, deus, in aevum, <virga directionis> virga regni tui; dilexisti iustitiam et odisti iniquitatem, propterea unxit te deus, deus tuus. Si ad deum loquitur, et unctum deum a deo, affirmat et hic duos deos… Plus est quod in evangelio totidem invenies: In principio erat sermo et sermo erat apud deum et deus erat sermo: unus qui erat, et alius penes quem erat. Adversus Praxeas 13.

[10] Origen of Alexandria (c. 184 – c. 253), also known as Origen Adamantius, was an early Christian scholar, ascetic, and theologian who was born and spent the first half of his career in Alexandria. He was a prolific writer who wrote roughly 2,000 treatises in multiple branches of theology, including textual criticism, biblical exegesis and hermeneutics, homiletics, and spirituality. He was one of the most influential figures in early Christian theology, apologetics, and asceticism. He has been described as “the greatest genius the early church ever produced.”

[11] Origen, Commentary on John, Book II, chap. 2

[12] Koine Greek (UK: , US: , Greek approximately ; Greek: Ελληνιστική Κοινή, Ellinistikí Koiní, [elinistiˈci ciˈni], lit. “Common Greek”), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the common supra-regional form of Greek spoken and written during the Hellenistic period, the Roman Empire and the early Byzantine Empire.

[13] Nestle Aland Novum Testamentum Graece Read NA28 online

[14] Romanization of Greek is the transliteration (letter-mapping) or transcription (sound-mapping) of text from the Greek alphabet into the Latin alphabet. The conventions for writing and romanizing Ancient Greek and Modern Greek differ markedly.

[15] An interlinear Bible is not really a translation. It lists the Hebrew or Greek word in one line and below the Hebrew or Greek word is the corresponding English word.

[16] The Greek-English New Testament Interlinear (GENTI)

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN – (GENTI)

[17] The Syriac language (; Classical Syriac: ܠܫܢܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ‎ / Leššānā Suryāyā, Leshono Suryoyo), also known as Syriac Aramaic (Syrian Aramaic, Syro-Aramaic) and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic language that emerged during the first century AD from a local Aramaic dialect that was spoken in the ancient region of Osroene, centered in the city of Edessa. During the Early Christian period, it became the main literary language of various Aramaic-speaking Christian communities in the historical region of Ancient Syria and throughout the Near East.

[18] The Peshitto (Classical Syriac: ܦܫܺܝܛܬܳܐ‎ or ܦܫܝܼܛܬܵܐ pšīṭto) is the standard version of the Bible for churches in the Syriac tradition, including the Maronite Church, the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Syriac Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Malabar Independent Syrian Church ( Thozhiyoor Church),the Syro Malankara Catholic Church, the Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Syro Malabar Catholic Church. The consensus within biblical scholarship, although not universal, is that the Old Testament of the Peshitto was translated into Syriac from Biblical Hebrew, probably in the 2nd century AD, and that the New Testament of the Peshitta was translated from the Greek.

[19] There have been many Coptic versions of the Bible, including some of the earliest translations into any language. Several different versions were made in the ancient world, with different editions of the Old and New Testament in five of the dialects of Coptic: Bohairic (northern), Fayyumic, Sahidic (southern), Akhmimic and Mesokemic (middle).

[20] Coptic (Bohairic Coptic: ϯⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, timetremənkhēmi) is a family of closely related dialects descended from the Ancient Egyptian language and historically spoken by the Copts of Egypt. Coptic was supplanted by Egyptian Arabic as the primary spoken language of Egypt following the Muslim conquest of Egypt, although it remains in use today as the liturgical language of the Coptic Church.

[21] The Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin/CBL Cpt 813, ff. 147v-148r/www.cbl.ie. “Sahidic Coptic Translation of John 1:1”Republished by Watchtower. Retrieved Thursday, May 20, 2021.

“Translating Sahidic Coptic John 1:1 | Gospel Of John | Translations”Scribd. Thursday, May 20, 2021. Translating “the word was a god” – 1700 years ago.

The Coptic version of the New Testament in the southern dialect : otherwise called Sahidic and Thebaic ; with critical apparatus, literal English translation, register of fragments and estimate of the version. 3, The gospel of S. John, register of fragments, etc., facsimiles3. Horner, George, 1849-1930. [Raleigh, NC]: [Lulu Enterprises]. 2014. ISBN 9780557302406. OCLC 881290216.

[22] The Vulgate (; Biblia Vulgata, Latin: [bɪbˈli.a wʊlˈɡaːta]) is a late-4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was to become the Catholic Church’s officially promulgated Latin version of the Bible during the 16th century as the Sixtine Vulgate then as the Clementine Vulgate; the Vulgate is still presently used in the Latin Church.

[23] James Moffatt (July 4, 1870, Glasgow – June 27, 1944, New York City) was a Scottish theologian and graduate of Glasgow University. Moffatt trained at the Free Church College, Glasgow, and was a practicing minister at the United Free Church in Dundonald in the early years of his career. He received the degree Doctor of Divinity from the University of St Andrews in April 1902.In 1911, he was appointed Professor of Greek and New Testament Exegesis at Mansfield College, Oxford, but he returned to Glasgow in 1915 as Professor of Church History at the United Free Church College.

[24] Edgar Johnson Goodspeed (October 23, 1871 – January 13, 1962) was an American theologian and scholar of Greek and the New Testament. He taught for many years at the University of Chicago, whose collection of New Testament manuscripts he enriched by his searches.

[25] Hugh Joseph Schonfield (London, 17 May 1901 – 24 January 1988, London) was a British Bible scholar specialising in the New Testament and the early development of the Christian religion and church. He was born in London and educated there at St Paul’s School and King’s College, doing postgraduate religious studies in the University of Glasgow, Doctor of Sacred Literature.

[26] Murray J. Harris (born 19 March 1939) is professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis and theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He was for a time warden of Tyndale House at Cambridge University.

[27] God the Father is a title given to God in Christianity. In mainstream trinitarian Christianity, God the Father is regarded as the first person of the Trinity, followed by the second person, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and the third person, God the Holy.

[28] Godhead (or godhood) refers to the divinity or substance (ousia) of the Christian God, especially as existing in three persons — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

[29] The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (Latin: Trinitas, lit. ’triad’, from Latin: trinus “threefold”) holds that God is one God, but three coeternal and consubstantial persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct, yet are one “substance, essence or nature” (homoousios).

[30] Harris, Murray J., Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus, 1992, Baker Books, pub. SBN 0801021952, p. 69

[31] In Christology, the Logos (Greek: Λόγος, lit. ”Word”, “Discourse”, or “Reason”) is a name or title of Jesus Christ, derived from the prologue to the Gospel of John (c 100) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”, as well as in the Book of Revelation (c 85), “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” These passages have been important for establishing the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus since the earliest days of Christianity. According to Irenaeus of Lyon (c 130–202) a student of John’s disciple Polycarp (c pre-69-156), John the Apostle wrote these words specifically to refute the teachings of Cerinthus, who both resided and taught at Ephesus, the city John settled in following his return from exile on Patmos.

[32] The Nicene Creed (; Greek: Σύμβολο τῆς Νικαίας; Latin: Symbolum Nicaenum) is a Christian statement of belief widely used in liturgy. It is the defining creed of Nicene Christianity.

[33] Homoousion (; Greek: ὁμοούσιον, romanized: homooúsion, lit. ’same in being, same in essence’, from ὁμός, homós, “same” and οὐσία, ousía, “being” or “essence”) is a Christian theological term, most notably used in the Nicene Creed for describing Jesus (God the Son) as “same in being” or “same in essence” with God the Father (ὁμοούσιον τῷ Πατρί). The same term was later also applied to the Holy Spirit in order to designate him as being “same in essence” with the Father and the Son.

[34] Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible, New Testament, 2009, p231.

[35] Wycliffe’s Bible is the name now given to a group of Bible translations into Middle English that were made under the direction of John Wycliffe. They appeared over a period from approximately 1382 to 1395.

[36] The Vulgate (; Biblia Vulgata, Latin: [bɪbˈli.a wʊlˈɡaːta]) is a late-4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was to become the Catholic Church’s officially promulgated Latin version of the Bible during the 16th century as the Sixtine Vulgate then as the Clementine Vulgate; the Vulgate is still presently used in the Latin Church.

[37] Thomas Belsham (26 April 1750 – 11 November 1829) was an English Unitarian minister

[38] William Newcome (10 April 1729 – 11 January 1800) was an Englishman and cleric of the Church of Ireland who was appointed to the bishoprics of Dromore (1766–1775), Ossory (1775–1779), Waterford and Lismore (1779–1795), and lastly to the Primatial See of Armagh (1795–1800).

[39] The Emphatic Diaglott is a diaglot, or two-language polyglot translation, of the New Testament by Benjamin Wilson, first published in 1864. It is an interlinear translation with the original Greek text and a word-for-word English translation in the left column, and a full English translation in the right column.

[40] Benjamin Wilson (1817–1900) was an autodidact Biblical scholar and writer of the Emphatic Diaglott translation of the Bible (which he translated between 1856 and 1864). He was also a co-founder of the Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith.

[41] The Joseph Smith Translation (JST), also called the Inspired Version of the Holy Scriptures (IV), is a revision of the Bible by Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, who said that the JST/IV was intended to restore what he described as “many important points touching the salvation of men, [that] had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.” Smith died before he deemed it complete, though most of his work on it was performed about a decade beforehand. The work is the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) with some significant additions and revisions.

[42] Robert Young, LL.D. (10 September 1822 – 14 October 1888) was a Scottish publisher who was self-taught and proficient in various Oriental languages. He published several works, the best known being a Bible translation, commonly referred to as Young’s Literal Translation, and his Bible concordance, The Analytical Concordance to the Bible.

[43] George William Horner (1849–1930) was a British biblical scholar, an editor of the text of the New Testament in the dialects of the Coptic language. In the Bohairic version, Horner edited in four volumes from 1898 to 1905.

Horner, George William (1911). The Coptic version of the New Testament in the Southern dialect : otherwise called Sahidic and Thebaic ; with critical apparatus, literal English translation, register of fragments and estimate of the version. Robarts – University of Toronto. Oxford : The Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0557302406.

[44] James Moffatt (July 4, 1870, Glasgow – June 27, 1944, New York City) was a Scottish theologian and graduate of Glasgow University.Moffatt trained at the Free Church College, Glasgow, and was a practicing minister at the United Free Church in Dundonald in the early years of his career. He received the degree Doctor of Divinity from the University of St Andrews in April 1902.In 1911, he was appointed Professor of Greek and New Testament Exegesis at Mansfield College, Oxford, but he returned to Glasgow in 1915 as Professor of Church History at the United Free Church College.

The Bible : James Moffatt translation : with concordance. Moffatt, James, 1870-1944. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Classics. 1994. ISBN 9780825432286. OCLC 149166602.

[45] John Merlin Powis Smith (28 December 1866 – November 1932) was an English-born, American orientalist and biblical scholar. Smith was born in London, son of William Martin and Anne Powis Smith.

[46] Edgar Johnson Goodspeed (October 23, 1871 – January 13, 1962) was an American theologian and scholar of Greek and the New Testament. He taught for many years at the University of Chicago, whose collection of New Testament manuscripts he enriched by his searches.

[47] “John 1 In the beginning the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was divine”. studybible.info. Retrieved Thursday, May 20, 2021.

[48] Hugh Joseph Schonfield (London, 17 May 1901 – 24 January 1988, London) was a British Bible scholar specialising in the New Testament and the early development of the Christian religion and church. He was born in London and educated there at St Paul’s School and King’s College, doing postgraduate religious studies in the University of Glasgow, Doctor of Sacred Literature.

[49] Schonfield, Hugh J. (1958). The Authentic New Testament. UK (1955), USA (1958): Panther, Signet. ISBN 9780451602152.

[50] The Wuest Expanded Translation (born 1961 in Professor Kenneth S. Wuest) is a literal New Testament translation that follows the word order in the Greek quite strictly. For example, John 1:1–3 reads: In the beginning the Word was existing.

  1. Wuest, Kenneth (1956). New Testament: An Expanded Translation. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 209. ISBN 0-8028-1229-5.

[51] Good News Bible (GNB), also called the Good News Translation (GNT) in the United States, is an English translation of the Bible by the American Bible Society. It was first published as the New Testament under the name Good News for Modern Man in 1966.

[52] The New English Bible (NEB) is an English translation of the Bible. The New Testament was published in 1961 and the Old Testament (with the Apocrypha) was published on 16 March 1970.

[53] The Revised English Bible (REB) is a 1989 English-language translation of the Bible that updates the New English Bible (NEB) of 1970. As with its predecessor, it is published by the publishing houses of both the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

[54] Zulfiqar Ali Shah (2012). Anthropomorphic Depictions of God: The Concept of God in Judaic, Christian and Islamic Traditions : Representing the Unrepresentable. International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). p. 300. ISBN 9781565645752.

[55] The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language is a highly idiomatic translation of the Bible by Eugene H. Peterson published in segments from 1993 to 2002. It is a simplistic translation of the Bible’s original languages.

[56] Eugene Hoiland Peterson (November 6, 1932 – October 22, 2018) was an American Presbyterian minister, scholar, theologian, author, and poet. He wrote over 30 books, including the Gold Medallion Book Award–winner The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Navpress Publishing Group, 2002), an idiomatic paraphrasing translation of the Bible into modern American English using a dynamic equivalence translation approach.

For a complete list of 70 non traditional translations of John 1:1, see http://simplebibletruths.net/70-John-1-1-Truths.htm

[57] Daniel J. Harrington, S.J. (July 19, 1940 – February 7, 2014), was Professor of New Testament and Chair of the Biblical Studies Department at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (formerly Weston Jesuit School of Theology). A member of the Society of Jesus, Fr.

Mary L. Coloe, ed. (2013). Creation is Groaning: Biblical and Theological Perspectives (Reprinted ed.). Liturgical Press. p. 92. ISBN 9780814680650.

[58] David Bentley Hart (born 1965) is an American philosopher and Orthodox theologian whose work encompasses a wide range of subjects and genres. A prolific essayist, he has written on topics as diverse as art, literature, religion, philosophy, film, baseball, and politics.

Hart, David (2017). The New Testament: A Translation.

[59] In Christianity, Sabellianism is the western Church heresy equivalent to the eastern historic Patripassianism, which are both forms of theological modalism. Sabellianism is the belief that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three different modes or aspects of God, as opposed to a Trinitarian view of three distinct persons or hypostases within the Godhead.

[60] David A. Reed. “How Semitic Was John? Rethinking the Hellenistic Background to John 1:1.” Anglican Theological Review, Fall 2003, Vol. 85 Issue 4, p709

[61] William Arnold III, Colwell’s Rule and John 1:1 Archived 2007-04-04 at the Wayback Machine at apostolic.net: “You could only derive a Trinitarian interpretation from John 1:1 if you come to this passage with an already developed Trinitarian theology. If you approached it with a strict Monotheism (which is what I believe John held to) then this passage would definitely support such a view.”

[62] Beduhn in Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament chapter 11 states: “Translators of the KJV, NRSV, NIV, NAB, New American Standard Bible, AB, Good News Bible and LB all approached the text at John 1:1 already believing certain things about the Word…and made sure that the translations came out in accordance with their beliefs…. Ironically, some of these same scholars are quick to charge the NW translation with “doctrinal bias” for translating the verse literally, free of KJV influence, following the sense of the Greek. It may very well be that the NW translators came to the task of translating John 1:1 with as much bias as the other translators did. It just so happens that their bias corresponds in this case to a more accurate translation of the Greek.”

[63] Dr. J. R. Mantey: “It is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1:1 ‘The Word was a god.'”

Dr. Bruce M. Metzger of Princeton (Professor of New Testament Language and Literature): “As a matter of solid fact, however, such a rendering is a frightful mistranslation. It overlooks entirely an established rule of Greek grammar which necessitates the rendering “…and the Word was God.” http://www.bible-researcher.com/metzger.jw.html—see chapter IV point 1.

Dr. Samuel J. Mikolaski of Zurich, Switzerland: “It is monstrous to translate the phrase ‘the Word was a god.'”

https://books.google.com/books?id=xEvXKTG9Mf4C&pg=PA211&dq=%22new+world+translation%22+falsification&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uJc1UcSfEunqiAeTq4B4&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=new%20world%20translation&f=false Ben Witherington III, The Living Word of God, 2007, Baylor University Press, pp. 211-213.

[64] Dr. Jason BeDuhn (of Northern Arizona University) in regard to the Kingdom Interlinear’s appendix that gives the reason why the NWT favoured a translation of John 1:1 as saying the Word was not “God” but “a god” said: “In fact the KIT [Appendix 2A, p.1139] explanation is perfectly correct according to the best scholarship done on this subject.”

Murray J. Harris has written: “Accordingly, from the point of view of grammar alone, [QEOS HN hO LOGOS] could be rendered “the Word was a god,….” –Jesus As God, 1992, p. 60.

  1. H. Dodd says: “If a translation were a matter of substituting words, a possible translation of [QEOS EN hO LOGOS]; would be, “The Word was a god”. As a word-for-word translation it cannot be faulted.”

[65] “The Article”. A section heading in Robert W. Funk, A Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek. Volume I. Second Corrected Edition. Scholars Press.

[66] Ernest Cadman Colwell (19 January 1901 – 24 September 1974) was an American biblical scholar, textual critic and palaeographer.

[67] Ernest Cadman Colwell (1933). “A definite rule for the use of the article in the Greek New Testament” (PDF). Journal of Biblical Literature. 52 (1): 12–21. doi:10.2307/3259477. JSTOR 3259477. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 21, 2016.

[68] Daniel Baird Wallace (born June 5, 1952) is an American professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is also the founder and executive director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, the purpose of which is digitizing all known Greek manuscripts of the New Testament via digital photographs.

[69] Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) is an evangelical theological seminary in Dallas, Texas. It is known for popularizing Free grace theology and the theological system Dispensationalism.

[70] Daniel B. Wallace (1997). Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. p. 269. ISBN 9780310218951.

[71] Wallace, ibid., p. 257

[72] Murray J. Harris (born 19 March 1939) is professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis and theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He was for a time warden of Tyndale House at Cambridge University.

[73] Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) is an academic divinity school founded in 1897 and located in the northern Chicago suburb of Deerfield, Illinois. It is part of and located on the main campus of Trinity International University.

[74] Panayotis Coutsoumpos. Book Reviews Murray J. Harris. Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books House, 1992. Berrier Springs. MI 49103

Murray J. Harris. (1992). Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books House.

Murray J. Harris (2008). Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus (Reprinted ed.). Wipf and Stock Publishers. ISBN 9781606081082.

[75] John Lawrence McKenzie (1910–1991) was born on October 9, 1910, in Brazil, Indiana, the first of the six children of Myra (Daly) and Harry McKenzie. John McKenzie became the premier Catholic biblical scholar of the mid-twentieth century; indeed, John Courtney Murray wrote that John McKenzie was “the best Catholic theologian he knew of in the United States.” John McKenzie was interested in the Jesuits from an early age.

[76] McKenzie, John L. (1965). Dictionary of the Bible. Milwaukee, WI: Bruce.

John L. Mckenzie (1995). The Dictionary Of The Bible (reprinted ed.). Touchstone, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 317. ISBN 9780684819136.

[77] James Douglas Grant Dunn (21 October 1939 – 26 June 2020), also known as Jimmy Dunn, was a British New Testament scholar, who was for many years the Lightfoot Professor of Divinity in the Department of Theology at the University of Durham. He worked broadly within the Protestant tradition.

[78] Durham University (legally the University of Durham) is a collegiate public research university in Durham, England, founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832 and incorporated by royal charter in 1837. It was the first recognised university to open in England for more than 600 years, after Oxford and Cambridge, and is thus one of the institutions to be described as the third-oldest university in England.

[79] Philo of Alexandria (; Ancient Greek: Φίλων, romanized: Phílōn; Hebrew: יְדִידְיָה הַכֹּהֵן‎‎, romanized: Yedidia (Jedediah) HaCohen; c.  20 BCE – c.  50 CE), also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria, in the Roman province of Egypt. Philo’s deployment of allegory to harmonize Jewish scripture, mainly the Torah, with Greek philosophy was the first documented of its kind, and thereby often misunderstood.

[80] James D. G. Dunn (1989). Christology in the Making: A New Testament Inquiry Into the Origins of the Doctrine of the Incarnation (Second ed.). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

[81] Brooke Foss Westcott (12 January 1825 – 27 July 1901) was a British bishop, biblical scholar and theologian, serving as Bishop of Durham from 1890 until his death. He is perhaps most known for co-editing The New Testament in the Original Greek in 1881.

[82] Charles Francis Digby “Charlie” Moule (; 1908–2007), known professionally as C. F. D. Moule, was an English Anglican priest and theologian. He was a leading scholar of the New Testament and was Lady Margaret’s Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge for 25 years, from 1951 to 1976.

[83] The Lady Margaret’s Professor of Divinity is the oldest professorship at the University of Cambridge. It was founded initially as a readership by Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, in 1502.

[84] The University of Cambridge is a collegiate research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a royal charter by Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university.

[85] In Christianity, Sabellianism is the western Church heresy equivalent to the eastern historic Patripassianism, which are both forms of theological modalism. Sabellianism is the belief that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three different modes or aspects of God, as opposed to a Trinitarian view of three distinct persons or hypostases within the Godhead.

[86] C. F. D. Moule (1953). An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek. Cambridge: University Press. p. 116. ISBN 9780521057745.

[87] Heidelberg University is a private university in Tiffin, Ohio. Founded in 1850, it was known as Heidelberg College until 1889 and from 1926 to 2009.

[88] Literature. 92 (1): 75–87. doi:10.2307/3262756. JSTOR 3262756.

[89] Jason David BeDuhn (born 1963) is a historian of religion and culture, currently Professor of Religious Studies at Northern Arizona University.

[90] Northern Arizona University (NAU) is a public research university with its main campus in Flagstaff, Arizona. It was founded in 1899 as the final public university established in the Arizona Territory, 12 years before it was admitted as the 48th state and later opened its first subsidary out of Arizona in New York, 85 St.

[91] ason BeDuhn (2003). Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament. University Press of America. p. 133. ISBN 9780761825562.

[92] David Barron (an anti-Trinitarian Seventh-day Adventist) (2011). John 1:1 Non-Trinitarian – The Nature and Deity of Christ. Archived from the original on 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2011-10-05.

[93] Albert Pietersma (1984). Albert Pietersma and Claude Cox (ed.). KYRIOS OR TETRAGRAM: A RENEWED QUEST FOR THE ORIGINAL LXX (PDF). DE SEPTUAGINTA. Studies in Honour of John William Wevers on his sixty-fifth birthday. Mississauga: Benben Publications. p. 90.

[94] The Papyrus Fouad 266 (three fragments listed as Rahlfs 847, 848 and 942) are fragments, part of a papyrus manuscript in scroll form containing the Greek translation, known as the Septuagint, of the Pentateuch. They have been assigned palaeographically to the 1st century BCE. There is discussion about whether the text is original or a later recension of the Septuagint.

[95] IBID

[96] The Journal of Theological Studies, NS, Vol. 62, Pt 2, October 2011. https://www.academia.edu/862541/_From_God_%CE%B8%CE%B5%CF%8C%CF%82_to_God_Noute_A_New_Discussion_and_Proposal_Regarding_John_1.1_and_the_Sahidic_Coptic_Version_of_the_NT_JTS_62.2_2011_494_512

[97] Charles John Ellicott (1819–1905) was a distinguished English Christian theologian, academic and churchman. He briefly served as Dean of Exeter, then Bishop of the united see of Gloucester and Bristol.

[98] Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers on John 1, accessed 22 January 2016

[99] David L. Jeffrey A Dictionary of biblical tradition in English literature 1992 Page 460 “…in his reference to ‘eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word’ (Luke 1:2) he is certainly speaking of the person as well as the words and actions of Jesus”

[100] Dwight Moody Smith First, Second, and Third John 1991 Page 48 “Of course, were it not for the Gospel, it would not be so obvious to us that “the word of life” in 1 John 1:1 is Jesus Christ. Strikingly, only in the prologue of each is the logos to be identified with Jesus.”

[101] Divine Name King James Bible 

http://www.dnkjb.net/1189chapters/NT44ACT28.htm

[102] “Acts 28:6 Interlinear: And they were expecting him to be about to be inflamed, or to fall down suddenly dead, and they, expecting it a long time, and seeing nothing uncommon happening to him, changing their minds, said he was a god”.

[103] John Chrysostom (; Greek: Ἰωάννης ὁ Χρυσόστομος; c. 347 – 14 September 407) was an important Early Church Father who served as archbishop of Constantinople. He is known for his preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities.

[104] “Catena aurea: commentary on the four Gospels, collected out of the works of the Fathers: Volume 6, St. John. Oxford: Parker, 1874. Thomas Aquinas”.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

[105] Augustine of Hippo (; Latin: Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis; 13 November 354 – 28 August 430), also known as Saint Augustine, was a theologian, philosopher, and the bishop of Hippo Regius in Numidia, Roman North Africa. His writings influenced the development of Western philosophy and Western Christianity, and he is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers of the Latin Church in the Patristic Period.

[106] Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great (Ancient Greek: Ἅγιος Βασίλειος ὁ Μέγας, Hágios Basíleios ho Mégas; Coptic: Ⲡⲓⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ Ⲃⲁⲥⲓⲗⲓⲟⲥ; 330 – January 1 or 2, 379), was an East Roman bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). He was an influential theologian who supported the Nicene Creed and opposed the heresies of the early Christian church, fighting against both Arianism and the followers of Apollinaris of Laodicea.

[107] Hilary of Poitiers (Latin: Hilarius; c. 310 – c. 367) was Bishop of Poitiers and a Doctor of the Church. He was sometimes referred to as the “Hammer of the Arians” (Malleus Arianorum) and the “Athanasius of the West”, His name comes from the Latin word for happy or cheerful.

[108] The Council of Ephesus was a council of Christian bishops convened in Ephesus (near present-day Selçuk in Turkey) in AD 431 by the Roman Emperor Theodosius II. This third ecumenical council, an effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom, confirmed the original Nicene Creed, and condemned the teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who held that the Virgin Mary may be called the Christotokos, “Christ-bearer” but not the Theotokos, “God-bearer”. It met in June and July 431 at the Church of Mary in Ephesus in Anatolia.

[109] Alcuin of York (; Latin: Flaccus Albinus Alcuinus; c. 735 – 19 May 804) – also called Ealhwine, Alhwin, or Alchoin – was an English scholar, clergyman, poet, and teacher from York, Northumbria.

[110] Theophylact (Greek: Θεοφύλακτος, Bulgarian: Теофилакт; around 1055 – after 1107) was a Byzantine archbishop of Ohrid and commentator on the Bible.

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